The great presentation guru Garr Reynolds wrote a blog post in which he shows a video of Frank Sinatra singing “You Make Me Feel So Young.” Garr quotes Sinatra saying, “When I sing, I believe. I’m honest. If you want to get an audience with you, there’s only one way. You have to reach out to them with total honesty and humility.”
I’d like to show you that video of Frank’s performance. Watch this video carefully below after you read my observations. Frank is giving a master class in audience engagement that is magnetic and effortless. He is demonstrating seven subtle performance skills that speakers can use to draw listeners to them and compel rapt audience attention. Frank is:
- Genuinely having fun onstage so we do as well.
- Thinking about what he is saying or singing so he is connected to his meaning.
- Standing in his own skin, deeply relaxed in his body with a grounded presence.
- Using his body emphatically to explain important lines of the song.
- Listening to his friend Dean Martin and enjoying what Dean is saying, allowing his amusement to be experienced as he sings.
- Enjoying the feelings inside himself and allowing the audience to watch his pleasure.
- Using a soft-eye contact with the audience so he receives their attention.
The result of Frank’s mastery of being in the moment invites the audience and us to experience what he is feeling. He magnetizes us to him and we feel a kind of intimacy with him in watching him sing. Now watch Frank Sinatra’s performance of “You Make Me Feel So Young” carefully. See what you see and feel.
Speakers can learn the following from Frank’s performance:
- To stand in your own skin through grounding exercises that brings you more fully embodied and present to the moment.
- To use soft-eye contact to receive the flow of attention from audiences.
- To focus intently on what you are saying so you think it and feel it in the moment.
- To enjoy the pleasure of genuine emotion flowing through your body as you speak.
- To play onstage with friends in the audience.
- To use body movements that are sparse but strong.
- To have more fun and let people watch.
Integrating these subtle speaking skills into your talks will give you the kind of magnetic presence and audience engagement that Sinatra has when he sings.
I love this video! Thanks Garr Reynolds for your post!